no spoiler book review
The Family Upstairs is a psychological thriller about growing up in a cult-like environment. A previously rich family opens their doors to a con-man and his family. They slowly infiltrate every aspect of their lives, implementing bizarre rules and demanding complete submission. Before long they are all barefoot, wearing homemade tunics, and worst of all, VEGAN… Just kidding, things get way worse.
Jewell’s writing of this book can only be described as “crafted”, everything is done on purpose. Some of the book is first person, while other sections are third person narratives. The narrative shift, added an interesting layer of complexity to the story. As if that weren’t enough to keep you guessing, the story is told through multiple perspectives with alternating timelines. This book is complex and thought provoking.
I read The Family Upstairs for book club. After suffering through our last selection, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, I vowed to start treating book club books like any other book. If I don’t like it, I’m not going to finish it. Luckily, I loved The Family Upstairs!
There is plenty to discuss and unpack in this book, making it a great choice for book clubs. We had an interesting and spirited discussion. Anything featuring, brainwashing, isolationists, and child abuse within a cult is going to spark some exciting conversations. I don’t think this was anyone’s favorite book, but most participants would probably rate it four stars.
When I was a teenager, the V.C. Andrews series, Flowers in the Attic was popular. If you were tormented by that series and would like an updated version, The Family Upstairs is a great choice. Fans of mystery, thrillers, psychology and sociology will like this well written page turner. If The Family Upstairs sounds interesting, follow this link to a No Spoiler Book Review of Marriage Lie.
Check out this list of New(ish) Thrillers That Will Give You The Creeps!
Be careful who you let in.
Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.
She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.
Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.
In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.
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